Monday, July 7, 2008

Shaucha

I was planning on posting on the third chakra today when I realized it's time to talk about our 1st Niyama so I will come back to the chakras tomorrow.

First I hope all had an awesome weekend. I had a most amazing time at Niagara Glen. We were climbing in the area around the river that comes off the Niagara Falls. There's all these limestone boulders just laying around asking to have me climb them and I did my best to answer that request. We got in some camping and some hoteling and some late night breakfasting and hot chocolating. It was just an awesome weekend!
Now I'm back and just waiting to hear about my salary from QCH still. My mind is still up in the air about which job I should go for but I'm pretty sure I'll stay here. More about that tomorrow though.

So Shaucha. Shaucha means purity and it's one of the first yoga practices you should look into out of the 5 niyamas. This one can be challenging because it can feel like a never ending practice. Once you purify something once it doesn't just stay that way, you have to make a practice of doing it regularly. Things always move towards chaos. A different word to describe this one is cleanliness and it can apply to many different things. The most obvious is your outside environment. Different people tolerate different levels of cleanliness. On this one I have trouble speaking for other people but for myself I know that I would prefer to have my place clean and in order. It's not that a little clutter and disorganization drives me crazy but sometimes it gets out of hand it it begins to feel like every time you move you are knocking stuff over. Cleanliness and purity also extends to one's own body. Yogis practice regular cleaning (although they sometimes use 'natural' products which can mean the smell left behind isn't something we all consider an improvement) and consider regular bathing and grooming important. As well there are practices like detoxification through sweating and diet which are debatable in the efficacy. Again it comes down to how it makes you feel. If it doesn't work for you don't do it. Then there's purification of the mind. These days allowing the mind to experience negative things through the five senses is considered common practice. News stories are full of unhappy circumstances, we sit and watch blood filled movies and our brains take in bad thoughts. It's not to say one should stop experiencing the world, just that focusing more on the positive then the negative will improve how your brain functions. Think about it. Would you let a 3 year old watch horror movies every day of the year and then be surprised if they felt afraid or irritated or angry. You could use the excuse that a three year old has a young impressionable mind. But beneath all the upper level thinking we've developed we have a pliable impressionable subconscious too. If someone calls you a mean name it gets stuck in there even though you know what they say isn't true. So why wouldn't negative experiences in your life cause an impression to form on your mind.
So shaucha is an all over life cleansing that asks us to look at what unnecessary clutter fills our life that can be removed or reorganized to better let us function to our full potential.

For my three practices this week:
1. I will clean out my truck (things go in but they never come out), my desk (cause I'm leaving) and my apartment to make more room for Kait's stuff (I've been keeping stuff because I had space to but now I don't, which is good because it forces me to de-clutter).
2. I will stop swearing for the next 2 weeks. Even in french (that'll be the hard one), because I seem to have let my bad words get out of hand.
3. I'm considering a diet detox, but I'll have to look more closely into that one. I know lots of people that have sworn by them but I'm always skeptical so we'll see where I go on that one. Definitely a proceed with caution type thing.

So those are my shaucha ideas. I'll be back tomorrow with more chakra work. Stay clean ;)